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258                              POLITICAL SCIENCE.
velopment, nor does anything show that a unitary state can
break up into a confederation. A confederation is a union
of bodies politic that have certain resemblances and certain
differences, tendencies to come together and tendencies to
remain apart. If they have a community of language, law
and general civilization, similar political views and a similar
experience, together with interests that can be reconciled,
they can form a close union, which alone after a lapse of time
ensures the perpetuity of their political forms. If one or
more of these are wanting or should in time come to be
wanting, a loose .union is all they can hope to form, or if
they succeed in forming a close union, it will scarcely be able
to continue. History shows especially the dangers attending
any union where one member is vastly greater or more favqr-
ably situated for action than the others ; it cannot fail to
swallow them up. Something depends also on the national
character, if the conservative forces of a union are to prevail
over destructive forces. Thus individualism, a want of def-
erence and of the spirit of concession, lawless self-asser-
tion, must be an isolating, disruptive force in confederations
as well as in states. In the former, the bond of union is the
weakest point and gives way first before opposing powers ;
in the latter, violence in society is the great evil, but cannot
destroy a state, unless civil confusion opens the road-to a
conqueror from without.
The danger of consolidation is a very possible one, but it
supposes either violent conquest from within or the oblitera-
tion of differences that existed before the union. If the for-
mer be supposed to take place, it must be due to great evils,
to degeneracy and corruption, and the conquest will be a
violent irregular relief from unendurable evils ; if the latter,
it will be a gradual, natural process, a substitution for more
complicated machinery.
We only add that confederation is limited to states under
certain constitutions. Two or more absolute states cannot
enter into a union which is a perpetual limitation of human
will; and the freer states are, other things being equal, the
more easily do they coalesce.